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Whitmore back as head coach

Theodore Whitmore, who has been given a one year contract, will take over as Head Coach of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz following the departure of former England international player John Barnes at the end of June.

Barnes, 45, took over the reins of the national programme on November 1, 2008, but will be leaving to take up the reins of English League One club Tranmere Rovers.

The former Liverpool and England winger, who ended with a record 5 wins and 4 draws with the Reggae Boyz, says he is looking forward to this new opportunity.

"I know Tranmere very well ... it's been a club close to my heart so it's another opportunity to work and I'm working. It's exciting times but I'm disappointed (about) not going to the Gold Cup because I could have gone to the Gold Cup and then started after that which is what the agreement was but the JFF (Jamaica Football Federation) has decided that they rather make that change now and that's fine, I have to accept that. I wish Whitmore and the Jamaican team all the best," said Barnes.

Local talent for Tranmere

In the meantime, Barnes said he is interested in taking a few Jamaican players with him to Tranmere Rovers.

According to Barnes, who will be linking up with veteran Reggae Boy and Tranmere Captain Ian "Pepe' Goodison, while he will be on the look out for local Jamaican talent, there will be challenges.

"I see a lot of prospects but of course there's the situation re work permit issues and a lot of the local players will not qualify for a work permit because they have to play for Jamaica for a certain number of years and 75% of the matches.

"We recognize that Jamaica needed to win matches; over the last three years, the squad has largely been overseas based so I don't know if there are many local players who would fulfill criteria for work permits which is a complete shame because I can think of about three or four players who could walk into the Tranmere team but because of the work permit issue, we have to see if that's a possibility," Barnes said.

The former Reggae Boyz coach will be replacing Ronnie Moore who was sensationally fired last week

Job well done - Burrell                     

And JFF President Captain Horace Burrell says he is satisfied with Barnes' performance during in his time as national coach.

Burrell announced Sunday night that Barnes would not be offered a new contract at the end of June.

"We got what we expected (and) I believe he did a splendid job because he had nine games which we won five and drew four which is a good record as we played some of the strongest teams in the Confederation of CONACAF. He has done the job that we asked him to do and we wish him well in his future endeavours with the Tranmere Rovers," said Burrell.

Whitmore will be responsible for getting the Reggae Boyz ready for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.



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